When 10 year old Abi Reilley from Nuangola was told she was too young to volunteer on the farm at Marley’s Mission in Lake Ariel she didn’t give up.
— When 10 year old Abi Reilley from Nuangola was told she was too young to volunteer on the farm at Marley’s Mission in Lake Ariel she didn’t give up.
Abi decided she could still help the Mission, a local non-profit which uses equine therapy to treat children and families who have experienced trauma, by creating and selling her signature treatz.
Abi, a fifth grader at Rice Elementary School, started riding this past summer. Abi’s mother Darlene said, “Abi has always loved animals and has frequently visited and brought treats to the local SPCA. She really took to riding and when I suggested she look into Marley’s Mission she was all over it.”
Marley’s Mission Volunteer Coordinator, Tara Iona, was impressed with Abi after reading her first email.
She said, “Abi sent a note saying she was a beginner rider, loved horses, and wanted to help abused children. She offered to come out to the farm to groom horses or muck stalls. When I told her volunteers needed to be 13 or older she said she would be emailing me at 6 a.m. on her 13th birthday! It is very unusual for a 10 year old to send an email offering to help. Abi was well-spoken, undeterred, and just plain adorable.”
Abi decided to put her kitchen talents to use and set out to create and sell her peanut butter energy Zows!
and other flavored treatz with the intention of donating her profits to Marley’s Mission.
Tara said, “She sent me updates on her progress. The first note said she had raised $47, then she told me she asked a Tupperware representative who was doing a show at her house to donate a portion of the sales that night to her Marley’s Mission fund. I was shocked when her next email said she had raised $160, but then after Abi’s mom asked if it would be ok to put some treatz in the teacher’s lounge at the school where she works the total rose to $222 with people clamoring for more of Abi’s Treatz.”
Tara states, “Abi first contacted the Mission about volunteering on January 27, 2013. Eight weeks later Abi was at the farm presenting a check in the amount of $300 to Marley’s Mission Founder April Loposky. Abi is quite a little dynamo and a testament to perseverance, commitment, and charity.”
Abi plans hold a car wash and run a lemonade stand this summer to raise more money for the Mission.
With a Capital Campaign in progress to build a new home for Marley’s Mission in Newton Township this summer, Abi’s fundraising efforts are especially timely, very important, and greatly appreciated.
Marley’s Mission is a non-profit organization that provides equine-based therapy free of charge to children, and their families, who have experienced trauma. Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) has shown evidenced-based efficacy in patients who have experience abuse and now suffer with depression, anxiety and other symptoms as a result of abuse. Research and observational findings have shown EAP yields a variety of psychotherapeutic benefits such as: confidence; self-efficacy; self-concept; communication; anxiety reduction, and most importantly ... trust.